Despite concerns of an economic slowdown, employers across the United States added an impressive 528,000 jobs last month as hiring surged and unemployment dipped to 3.5% – a pre-pandemic low.
That announcement hit news stands late last week. For those who’ve been reading, that number may come as quite the surprise. Take one glance at your LinkedIn in recent months, and you’ve probably been hit with a super-sized serving of doom and gloom.
With that news in mind, we found ourselves asking: What’s actually going on in the hiring market? What’s the real story?
As the market maintains its trend of adding jobs, technical roles in particular continue to be highly sought after. That’s true even in cooler hiring markets and across all industries.
“When people say things are slowing, I ask, ‘On what data?’” said Ryan Sutton, a district president at Robert Half, in a recent NYT article.
And although some major tech companies are making headlines for hiring freezes and layoffs, tech employment is still at a historic level. In July, the unemployment rate for tech jobs fell to 1.7%, approaching the all-time low of 1.3% set in May 2019.
So, we did some digging into the hiring market dynamics we find ourselves in.
Here are some key takeaways:
1. Software Engineers Still Top the List of In-Demand Jobs
It’s not just tech unemployment data that’s generating buzz. In its latest quarterly report of in-demand jobs, LinkedIn ranked software engineers as the most in-demand role from April 1 to June 30 of 2022.
Software engineers were at the top of the list in Q1 of this year as well, and this feat becomes even more impressive when you realize that the list included professions of all types, from beekeeping and delivery driving to registered nurses.
It’s not all that surprising that technical roles made up half the list when you look at recent events like the pandemic and rise of virtual work. Companies of all stripes, across all sectors, were already headed down a path of digital transformation. The pandemic only accelerated those trends.
To rapidly transform their organizations, companies needed more technical professionals. Now that people have grown accustomed to these changes, demand for the skilled technical talent who sustain and accelerate their innovation initiatives isn’t going anywhere.
2. Software Engineers Will Be in High Demand for the Next Decade — and Beyond
Software engineers being in high demand isn’t new. Indeed data shows that demand for software developers has rapidly increased over the last two years, and total software development job postings are up by more than 90% since March 2020.
Software development job postings might have waned over the last few months, according to that same Indeed data, but companies looking to stay competitive should take this news with a boulder-sized grain of salt.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for software developers to increase by 22% from 2020 to 2030. To put that number in perspective, the average growth rate for all professions is only 8%.
These long-term projections for demand of software developers are an important reminder to not get caught up in short-term trends and lose sight of the big picture. A study from McKinsey found that companies that continue to invest heavily in innovation during crises emerge substantially ahead of their peers, maintaining this advantage for years to come. And many companies are centering hiring and investment strategies with those outcomes in mind.
3. Software Engineers Power the Most Promising Technologies of the Future
Cutting-edge technologies will transform the world in unprecedented and exciting ways. Web3 has the potential to revolutionize the internet. Autonomous vehicles may alter the transportation industry forever. And the metaverse could change the way people view and access huge portions of the world.
But building the technologies of the future requires the highly sought-after talents of skilled tech professionals.
While tech hiring rates may go through short-term ebbs and flows, developers will continue being in high demand for years to come. And companies will need to continue hiring developers and engineers if they hope to harness the skills they need to innovate.
After all, the future’s counting on it.